By Pete Kowalski, USGA
Tulsa, Okla. – Tim Jackson, 50, of Germantown, Tenn., shot a 2-under-par 68 Monday at Southern Hills Country Club to lead the morning wave of the first day of stroke play at the 2009 U.S. Amateur.
Jackson, a career amateur who led the 2009 U.S. Senior Open after 36 holes while setting scoring records, registered three birdies against one bogey on the 7,093-yard, par-70 course that has hosted three U.S. Opens among five other USGA championships.
Jackson, who won the 1994 and 2001 U.S. Mid-Amateur championships, was a stroke better than Matthew Broome, 20, of Barrington, R.I., John Peterson, 20, of Fort Worth, Texas and Will Strickler, 23, of Gainesville, Fla., all of whom shot 1-under-par 69 on the 7,331-yard, par-70 Cedar Ridge Country Club, which is being used for the stroke play portion of the championship.
“Just over the last six weeks I’ve started really putting the ball the way I used to putt it,” Jackson said. “And I think that’s been the difference. I changed to a cross-handed grip back in April. This guy I was working with, he begged me to go cross-handed and said, ‘Just try it for one year and at the end of the season you can tell me, we’ll decide if you want to go back.’ I don’t think I’m going back. It’s been really good for me.”
Jackson, a real estate investor, is playing in his 13th U.S. Amateur and he was a quarterfinalist in 1994 and 1995. At the U.S. Senior Open, where he finished tied for 11th three weeks ago, he shot the lowest round by an amateur (first-round 66), lowest 72-hole score by an amateur (288) and lowest score by any player in the first 36 holes (133), tying six others for the record. He also set a record for most strokes under par through 36 holes, shooting 11 under par.
Jackson’s 68 was the only sub-par score at Southern Hills. Broome, Peterson and Strickler shot the only sub-par rounds at Cedar Ridge.
Pete Kowalski is a Manager of Communications for the USGA. E-mail him with questions or comments at email@example.com.